Without Limits - Team Galaxy SO Cheer Team was originated by Kati Hassall in the fall of 2019 after Cheer became sanctioned as a recognized sport for Special Olympics International. Unfortunately, this new team had to put everything on pause due to the pandemic. Then in July 2021, Lisa Elbe volunteered to reinstate the team. The team quickly took off and now has grown to include almost 40 members, ranging in age from 11-30yrs old, as well as a variety of disabilities, including autism, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, and DDX3X syndrome. The team continues to perform at local Special Olympic events and other community events and parades. The new Without Limits - Team Galaxy SO Cheer Team became the first Special Olympics Cheer Team of its kind in Southern Illinois. One month into the team's new inception, they were invited to perform in the Dance the Magic parade in Disney's Magic Kingdom and are will also be performing on the Beauty and the Beast stage in Disney's MGM Hollywood Studios in December of 2022. Additionally, the team was one of 5 US Special Olympics Cheer Teams invited to perform at the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin, Germany, in June 2023. For our team to be only 1 of 5 teams in the US chosen is just a tremendous honor and an incredible opportunity! Additionally, October of 2023 this team was chosen to represent the USA at the ICU World Cheerleading Championships this April in Orlando, FL. This Without Limits Special Olympics Cheer Team is just that - they have no limits!!
This team has just taken off! Here is a list of some of their many accomplishments:
- They were featured on KSDK with Mike Busch on the news August 2022.
- They took the 1st Place National Championship Title as winners of the Applause National Talent Competition July 2022
- Performed at the 2022 IHSA State Cheer Championships in Bloomington in February 2022
- They are also honored to be chosen to make their second performance in the IHSA State Cheer Competition in Bloomington, IL February 2023.
- Performed and cheered with the Belleville East Varsity Cheerleaders at a varsity basketball game in 2022
- They performed and cheered with the OTHS Varsity Cheer Team at the O'fallon High School Varsity Football game in 2021 and 2022.
- Took First place at the O'Fallon Spiritfest 2021 and 2022
- Participated in World Class Gymnastics Top Tier Cheer Showcase November 2022.
- Performed in the Belleville Shriners parade 2021 and 2022
- Performed at the Collinsville Horseradish Festival 2022
- Performed in Highland for the yearly Schweizerfest picnic and parade in 2022
- Were invited to the St. Louis Cardinals stadium to be guests of the Cardinals as Marmol's VIPs 2022
- Performed for SOILL's Ride for Respect event in 2021
- Cheered at the Special Olympics Region J Flagfootball Tournament 2022
- Participated in the Freeburg Walk for Autism 2022
- Participated in the Millstadt Walk for Autism 2022
- Participated in the Buddy Walk 2022
Unfortunately, the team does not receive funding from Special Olympics at this time, but we hope that will change as the program continues to grow. We have many expenses to keep this team thriving and growing: Uniforms, Warm Ups, Bags, Backpacks, shoes, Hair Bows, Pom-Pons, Megaphones, Cheer Signs, Flags, Music, Choreography, Parade Equipment, Administrative, Competition Entry Fees, and a very large Travel Expense. We would appreciate any support you could give our team. With your donation, you are not just helping to give these cheerleaders with special needs opportunities they or their parents never thought would be possible, but you will literally be helping to make their dreams a reality!!